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Guidelines and FAQs

Everything you need to know before making a nomination

These guidelines and FAQ's should help answer any questions you may have about the Alumni Award nomination process.

Each year, Sydney recognises and acknowledges the professional and personal achievements of our alumni community through the nominations submitted by their peers, colleagues, friends and family.

If you know someone who is dedicated to excellence in their chosen field, integrity, creativity, determination, leadership, resilience or compassion, nominate them for an award.

Nominations for the 2023 Alumni Awards are now closed.


  • Nominees must have graduated from the University of Sydney to be nominated for the Alumni Achievement Awards.
  • Nominees must have completed their degree requirements or conferred/graduated in 2022 from the University of Sydney to be nominated for Graduate Medals.
  • Self-nominations are not accepted.
  • Only individual nominations will be accepted. If two or more people are integral to an activity/program, two separate nominations will need to be submitted. The John C Harsanyl Medal for Innovation is the exception and may be awarded to an individual or a group.
  • The recipient of a posthumous award must have been deceased for no more than 10 years at the time of nomination.
  • Nominees for the Outstanding Achievements of Young Alumni Award must be aged 35 years and younger at the close of nominations.
  • Current members of the Senate and its sub-committees, members of the Alumni Council, faculty deans, and staff at the Division of Alumni and Development are ineligible for the University of Sydney Alumni Awards.
  • All nominations must be submitted online.

Nomination guidelines

  • Nominations can be made by University of Sydney staff, students, alumni and any member of the public.
  • Each Alumni Achievement Award nomination in a given year may be considered for two consecutive years. Nominators will be contacted to provide updated information.
  • Previous unsuccessful nominations for the Alumni Achievement Awards can be re-submitted by the nominator with any updated information in future years.
  • The online nomination forms can be saved. Nominators may edit their entry after submitting, until the nominations deadline.
  • Prior to submitting a nomination, refer to the selection criteria and frequently asked questions.
  • The size of your attachments will affect the speed of the upload and form submission. We recommend you keep attachments to less than 5MB each.
  • Be clear and concise in your responses in the nominee information statement section, note the word limit for each response.
  • You will receive an automated response email with a copy of your nomination once you submit the form. Please keep this for your records.
  • The judging panel reserves the right to change the category for nomination.
  • If you experience issues submitting an online nomination form, please contact the Alumni Relations Office on

Nominations outcome

  • Nominees cannot win in more than one category.
  • Only winners and their nominators will be informed of the outcome.
  • We reserve the right to reallocate nominations between categories.
  • The nomination outcome will be final and conclusive.

Alumni Award FAQs

References can be written by professional and academic colleagues. We recommend at least two references be submitted.

No. The nominator cannot also be a referee since they will have already provided a recommendation letter in the nomination form. One person cannot write more than one statement for each nominee. However, a nominator can act as an endorser for a different nominee.

References should be written to allow a greater understanding of the nominee’s achievements and impact and discuss specific examples of both. The referee should make clear their connection with the nominee and state their full contact details, including phone and email.

All supporting documents should relate directly to the reason for the nomination. They can include letters of reference, media articles and publications. Whatever the material is, it should illustrate and enhance what is in the written nomination. For Graduate Medal nominees, the documents should illustrate activities and achievements during the period of study.

Whilst a reference letter is not required to submit a nomination, it is strongly recommended. If a reference letter is not submitted and your nominee makes it through to the final round of judging, the nominator will be asked to provide a reference letter.


Alumni and Supporter Experience Office